Alumni Spotlight Testimonial: Darek

 

Every time I went to treatment I always wanted to look outward instead of inward...

Alumni Spotlight Testimonial

Darek: from Addict to Inspiration

My names Darek, and I'm an addict. It took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that I couldn't use or abuse any mind or mood altering substances, but let's not jump the gun.

I've struggled with addiction since I was twelve years old. Unfortunately, but also fortunately, it progressed to heroin which lead me down a six year path straight to hell. Countless nights sleeping in Taco Bell and Speedway bathrooms so I could avoid the negative temperatures in Chicago, crying to myself, by myself, with myself, with nobody to blame other than myself. I continued this insane cycle for years while destroying everything in my path. In and out of treatment centers, detox, just to end up homeless and alone because I refused to believe that I wasn't internally unique. Eventually my path lead me to two decisions: death by suicide, or stop trying to do it Darek's way and finally take the suggestions that were given to me countless times. Fortunately for me, I forgot to take the safety off the gun when I pulled the trigger, and I mean that quite literally. So, I decided to go to Banyan Treatment Center for about the 8th time.

My Turnaround

While at Banyan, I decided for once to finally start taking a good look at the real problem, myself. Every time I went to treatment I always wanted to look outward instead of inward, convincing myself that I was internally unique and wasn't like the other people who shot heroin. I thought I could shoot dope like a gentleman, whatever that means. This time around I took it seriously. I worked strenuously with my therapist, Tom, on my deeper issues that were really going on. It wasn't until then that I realized what they meant by a "spiritual awakening" cause I'll tell you this, Tom puts it like it is ALL of the time. No candy coating, which is exactly what I needed. Once I got out of treatment, I decided to get uncomfortable and go to another center for IOP since I was so comfortable at Banyan after the many times I had been through before.

Once there I got a job, got a sponsor, started working the steps, and focused on saving my own skin because I knew my cards were up. Everybody was done with me, including myself. After months of going through my steps, working, and graduating IOP I decided to move back to Chicago. Since I've been back, I started my career actually working for Banyan Treatment Center in Chicago. Today I live a life beyond my wildest dreams. I work for a treatment center (which blows my mind constantly), I have real relationships with people, I have people who can depend on me to show up when I say I will and that in of itself is a miracle. I can finally give back what was so freely given to me, and not to quote the big book but I "comprehend the word serenity and know peace." Is life perfect? Absolutely not. Life shows up and I have situations I have to attend to.

The difference is, today I'd rather suit up and show up, than shoot up and throw up. I truly owe Banyan my life. The program and a few key people including Frank T., Josh M., David G. from alumni, The Clinical Director, Frank P. and countless others have truly been a huge part of my sobriety, and I will always be grateful for Banyan as a whole.

Alyssa
Alyssa
Alyssa is Banyan’s Director of Digital Marketing & Technology. After overcoming her own struggles with addiction, she began working in the treatment field in 2012. She graduated from Palm Beach State College in 2016 with additional education in Salesforce University programs. A part of the Banyan team since 2016, Alyssa brings over 5 years of experience in the addiction treatment field.

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